American Dad! Volume 5 review (DVD)

This box set is being marketed as "uncensored", yet some people (probably Americans) don't seem to understand what the word uncensored means. How else to explain the bleeping of the word "masturbate" in the very first episode, Phantom of The Telethon?

It's a puzzle, because there is certainly no shortage of shits or fucks across the rest of the episodes. So, why is the word masturbate  censored? What's not a puzzle is why, after six seasons (it's currently in its seventh in the US) American Dad! is still worth watching ... because it's terrifically funny.

Anyway, if you're not already familiar with American Dad, then you should be. It comes from the slightly warped but brilliant mind of Seth MacFarlane, the man responsible for Family Guy. But it's much more grounded in reality than Family Guy is — no flashbacks, no cutaways to pop culture references. But like that other show, American Dad is a family-based comedy. But this time the head of that family, Stan Smith, is an ultra-right-wing fanatic who works for the CIA. He has a beautiful wife named Francine (who ranks slightly below GW Bush in his affections), geeky son Steve, ultra-liberal daughter Hayley, alien Roger (rescued from Area 51) and a goldfish named Klaus who used to be a Nazi. 

Highlights of this season include a great riff on Oceans 11 (along with a mediocre riff on Oceans 12 and 13), Klaus getting a body, the back-up wife, Reginald the CIA koala and Steve getting plastered. Stan seems to get his own way a lot less in this season, but he's still the right-wing boob we know and love. And, as always, there's probably a bit too much Roger for my liking. But it's still funny, clever stuff and one of the best animated shows around.

EXTRAS ★★★ An audio commentary track for each episode; several deleted scenes for each episode; and Bar Mitzvah Hustle Fact-Ups - little snippets of behind-the-scenes info about the episode that pop up - such as the fact that Steve's friend Snot is voiced by Curtis Armstrong, who played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds, or that the character Etan is voiced by Robot Chicken (and Family Guy) star Seth Green. 

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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